Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Plus ca change, plus c'est meme

I know, the French punctuation is missing from the title, but I am sure you get the drift! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I have recently undergone a giant metamorphosis in my practice, and am still in the throes of change, as many of you already know. The original impetus for this was the pain and exhaustion my practice was causing, and the change crystallised during my trip to India last September (I hope to return to KYM this August, woo hoo!) Funny thing is, although my practice feels very different, it looks much the same. In fact, it looks like I have copped out of half the 'difficult' and 'challenging' poses I used to do.

I have the zeal of the newly converted. Confession: until last September, I was really just working on the physical level in my yoga practice. Not so now, and it is more than a little scary. Now I catch myself thinking that everyone should come along on this ride with me, whether they want to or not. Probably because I will be less scared if I have company! I bet anything that once I start to feel a little more settled in the new patterns, my conversionary zeal will fade somewhat. I have just finished reading Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope.* It would have meant almost nothing to me a few years ago, but now I found myself nodding vigorously through almost the entire book - it is so comforting to find that someone else has mapped the territory I am only now discovering. A Western someone, who comes from the same cultural mores as me.

And yet, it is still just my yoga practice. Same ole me, basically.

* This was a gift from a student, to whom I say: Thank you! As always you are as much teacher as student. May you, like the Velveteen Rabbit, be loved well and truly, until you become real.


Total Health Yoga - Kris Kramer said...

I, too, find my practice shifting. Over the years it's been all over the board, waking at 5 am to a 3 hour practice 6 days a week--yes, that was my extreme :-) Down to 3 days a week when ever I happened to fit it in. Currently, my asanas are slower and more meaningful (to me), an hour tops and then 20-30 minutes of pranayama and meditation. Do we leave more challenging asanas because we're wiser or just older?? Humm, I wonder.

ombites (mary) said...

But it's not just a practice is it, it's a whole way of life and some days we can do things, and some days we can't :-)

Thanks for the book link! Will check it out.


Lisa said...

I'm going to check out this book as well...looks great. Thanks for the link!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I think that's when we practice the "real" yoga... when these huge shifts happen... it sounds exciting and scary, Nadine... kind of like what I am going through as well, maybe. Now I get to practice my real yoga...
Oh, and thanks for the linkie...

Linda (Sama) said...

with some people, older does not mean wiser. and what are "challenging" asanas? The most "challenging" asanas for my students are the ones we do in yin yoga because poses such as pigeon, cobbler's pose, or supta virasana are held for 5 minutes or longer, and people have to draw inward, which sometimes is the most challenging place to be.

what is going to transform your life? that "challenging" arm balance or stilling your mind for 5 minutes?

for a book on how to tailor a practice throughout one's life, read "Yoga for the Three Stages of Life" by my teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami.

Nadine Fawell said...

Hi all!
Thanks for the comments. I have had flu and been out of action, although I did visit all my fave blogs! It is quite true, challenging is generally not what we think it is at first. Older/wiser... maybe it is the same thing?